grantees » Bruno Ezequiel Giambelluca

Bruno Ezequiel Giambelluca, Argentina

Bruno is an environmental leader from Argentina with an impressive list of achievements. His environmental advocacy began as an enthusiastic 16 year old member of the Argentinian Anti-Incineration Coalition. There he developed a local ordinance to increase recycling and social acceptance of grassroot recyclers (waste pickers) in the city. Since then, he co-founded Basura Cero Bahía Blanca (Zero Waste Bahía Blanca) campaign and works as its coordinator. In addition, Bruno has collaborated with a range of organizations and has been invited to participate at conferences throughout South America providing expertise on waste management.

Bruno used his JWH Initiative grant to perform field work in zero waste cities in Chile. The grant was important in order for Bruno to gain practical knowledge for zero waste work, particularly learning how to communicate with different stakeholders that face the same problems. He notes that one of the problems in Bahía Blanca is the large number of recycling cooperatives and municipality stakeholders to work with, so building a network for communication is essential. First, he visited the town of La Pintana where he learned about the waste treatment plant in the city, the plant’s composting and vermicomposting techniques and the challenge of reducing organic wastes to landfills. Bruno also joined a community door-to-door campaign and learned about effective communication techniques. He also spent two days in Maipú and worked with both the municipality and recyclers association. Again, he learned about community engagement, but also about the current status of recycling in Chile, the legal framework and interaction between campaigns and the government.

He reflects on his experience and says, “One of the problems [that my city has with accomplishing goals] is aiming too high. The idea of presenting basic and doable solutions is something I learned from recyclers and municipal stakeholders.” Back in Bahía Blanca, Bruno applied this “keep it simple” mentality when organising a seminar for municipality representatives, NGOs, students and local community members on World Environment Day. He prepared a hand out with key information on zero waste initiatives and important contacts that can be used by local NGOs and community members. Bruno believes that his JWHi experience gives him extra motivation for future projects with Basura Cero Bahía Blanca.

Nominated by

Christie Keith:  Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA):  USA.